The article I did on data walls yesterday is stimulating a great deal of conversation. I think that is awesome. Something like this should be talked about. There seems to be two general sides: those who feel data walls shame struggling students and those who think this will scar children by taking away these components of education. One person on a Facebook group said we are turning kids into wussies and our country will go down the toilet. Others feel it is a waste of a teacher’s time and energy. Both sides have some valid arguments, but I want to make a few things clear.
The pictures in the article were not taken by me. They were also intentionally blurry because student pictures are on the wall. I can’t really argue for data privacy while putting up hundreds of kids pictures up so anyone can see them. This was an academic data wall with three colors ranging from a bottom red to a top green.
I haven’t heard back from any of the Delaware superintendents or charter leaders. But I have heard from tens of thousands of teachers, in Delaware, the USA and even countries like New Zealand, Germany, and Japan. I found out states like Oregon have laws specifically banning data walls. The vast majority of teachers, well over 95%, are against these data walls. Most of them are required to do it and the mandates are serious. I will be exploring this topic much more in the coming weeks. In the meantime, I stand ready to start filing FERPA violations on Thursday night if I am not taken seriously. Let’s keep this conversation going. It is important.
There were no data walls when I was a kid. My child never experienced data walls like this. So this is very new to me.